Marvel’s The Amazing Spider-Man hit theaters in July, becoming the second movie this summer from the House of Ideas (the first being The Avengers). Whenever Spider-Man gets a flick, a game is guaranteed. In this case it’s the film’s eponymous release from Gameloft.
Peter Parker’s alter ego has been featured in video games since the 1970s. In the digital world, he’s probably faced his entire rogues gallery. He’s also been playable in every beat-‘em-up, fighting, role-playing and side-scrolling fashion imaginable. But The Amazing Spider-Man is where fans get the Spidey who does all of those ⎯ and has been missing from other adaptations. Let’s find out more after the jump.
Somebody Call for a Web-Slinger?
After a brief slideshow tells his tragic origin story, Spidey is summoned into a series of missions. These interconnected interludes ⎯ which often include banter-laced dialogue ⎯ involve rescuing damsels in distress, cracking the heads of crooks and eventually taking on his scaly arch-nemesis, The Lizard.
As exciting and attention-grabbing as the characters are, the scenery also deserves recognition. Taking place throughout New York City, The Amazing Spider-Man allows our hero to freely interact with his 3-D surroundings. That means Spidey can web-sling from most streetlights and wall-crawl on any skyscraper. He sometimes even encourages extroverted passersby to wave or duck when web-spinning close enough.
At his disposal are awe-inspiring agility and streak-of-light speed, but be warned that not all of his abilities are available right away. Players earn skill points after successfully taking on thugs and completing tasks. From there, gamers can cash them in to upgrade attack combos and life gauges, as well as purchase other unlocked goodies.
To get those points, clobber the robbers and any other baddies who name-call or threaten. A map in the upper right corner of the screen will guide you to where the action is. Once you’ve reached the area designated, walk through the fiery yellow beacon, which will initiate any character dialogue, instructions and melees.
Getting Into the Swing of Things
A typical New Yorker travels the city using the subway. Spider-Man is anything but, yet his signature commuting style is an asset is this game. By slinging webs between lampposts and buildings, Spidey can cover more ground without even touching it ⎯ a big help during timed missions.
The computer will put a target on where your webbing will connect. Tapping the web-shooting icon thwips a thread that will propel Spidey forward. Note that the web-shooting icon is not always present. If it does not appear, Spider-Man won’t be able to complete this action. However, it may show up by simply turning Spidey in a different direction.
In cases where you need to move forward, just tap the direction key. Hold it down for several seconds to make Spidey accelerate through the busy New York streets. Tap the jump icon to clear gridlocked cars and sidewalk fixtures.
It’s Clobberin’ Time
“Wealth and fame he’s ignored, action is his reward,” says Spider-Man’s campy theme song from his 1960s cartoon. There’s plenty to go around here, courtesy of the Deadbeatz Thugs gang, who is causing a ruckus all over the city.
When Spidey enters into a fray, the player’s view will zoom out in order to better defend yourself against sneak attacks. Aggressors can be dealt repeated hits by tapping a simple attack button. For a faster delivery of justice, purchase upgraded moves.
One such upgrade includes a web-shooting capture trick that pulls your target in close for some spider-stinging punishment.
As the battle comes to a close, the view once again zooms in. Spidey’s final hits will be seen at close range and in slow motion. Once things wrap up, more instructions on what to do next or a new mission will be presented.
Spider Sense Tingling
Players beware! Make sure your left thumb is properly aligned with Spidey’s direction button. Failure to do so could result in incomplete missions courtesy of slow running, misfired webs and not clearing jumps. It can also botch attempts to scale walls and fences at a rapid pace.
Also remember that web-slinging is an art. Frustration will find those who don’t take to it right away, but it doesn’t take long before players can become advanced athletes.
Skipping dialogue isn’t a possibility at certain points of the game. Talkative opponents may try your patience if you’re itching for a fight.
Another gripe? Spidey at first is unable to jump and stick to buildings. But perhaps this is one of the many skills he earns further in the game.
Spider-Man to the Rescue!
Spider-Man is known for his wit and quips, and there’s no shortage of either in The Amazing Spider-Man. While the dialogue may at times be corny, the story mode is engaging and ⎯ though it’s based on a movie ⎯ succeeds in bringing his comic book mythos to life. This also helps flesh out the game’s plot. Spider-Man isn’t simply running around the city fighting crime. In this game, we learn his purpose, one that builds in suspense as he completes his individual missions.
The action is much improved from dialogue-heavy role-playing games. The multi-format play changes things up just enough so that players will feel challenged and won’t get comfortable repeating the same moves. Though pricier than many game options available in the App Store, The Amazing Spider-Man proves a champion in the superhero genre.